The challenge of the traditional lock industry is coming


Since the second half of last year, smart door locks have begun to receive a lot of attention, and they have become a "net celebrity" explosive product in the smart home industry. As a result, in the terminal product market, many cross-border players are also flocking in, such as home appliance companies (Haier, Midea, Skyworth, etc.), Internet companies (Yunyou, 360, etc.).

In the face of these foreign entrants, how do traditional lock companies respond?


The market that has always existed VS the sudden arrival of the tuyere

In the eyes of these orthodox lock companies, smart door locks are not a new concept that appeared overnight. In fact, it has always been there. These traditional hardware components and mechanical door lock companies generally start the design of smart door locks very early. and development.

According to Li Xujun, the industrial design director of Yajie, Yajie designed the first smart lock as early as 2005. However, the industry did not call it a "smart lock" at that time, but an electronic lock or a fingerprint lock.

Some traditional lock companies are thinking about the relationship between mechanical locks and smart locks from the perspective of door lock product function upgrades. Unfortunately, there is little response in the market. Zhu Haitao, Marketing Director of Cherry Blossoms, said frankly, "Even in 2014 and 2015, Cherry Blossom's monthly shipments of smart locks were only a few hundred pieces."

The sudden popularity of smart door locks should be attributed to the vigorous publicity of the smart home concept over the years. Although the smart home market itself has not experienced a blowout growth, it has accidentally brought fire to smart door locks. Li Yu, general manager of Huitailong's intelligent business department, said frankly: "At least before last year, mainstream smart home companies have not paid attention to the smart door lock market, and few smart home companies have taken the initiative to contact us."

After years of hard work in their own field, smart home players finally found a single product that can quickly impress users?? Smart door locks. And the convenience of eliminating the need to bring keys and matching keys is also easier to promote to ordinary users. Smart door locks are rapidly impressing more consumers with their "subversive user experience".

From the perspective of the integrity of smart home solutions, home appliance companies expand their products from indoors (smart home appliances, smart homes) to outdoor (smart door locks), and view smart door locks from the positioning of the entrance of the home intelligent system, so they need to enter this category. The emerging Internet door lock companies that mainly aim at the apartment rental market also define smart door locks as an indispensable standard from the perspective of the convenience of business operation and management.

The joint efforts of multiple forces have made smart door locks a small outbreak in the second half of last year, and this year continues to heat up. It is expected that this year's shipments will at least double to more than 6 million units.


The confidence and confidence of traditional lock enterprises

Even if it has suddenly become a popular industry due to the attention of all parties, these old lock companies generally said: "Thanks to these cross-border players for helping us do marketing and market education work, but in this market, we still have our own Unique advantages, completely not afraid of the cross-border competition of these emerging players."

According to Li Yu's analysis, at present, no matter how smart locks promote their smart side, in fact, ordinary consumers still position them as building materials products, not smart hardware or smart home products. This psychological positioning brings obvious advantages to these traditional companies starting with hardware building materials and mechanical locks:

**, from the perspective of sales channels, these traditional lock brands are more likely to reach end consumers who need to buy door locks. Because door locks need to provide a series of services such as installation, debugging, and maintenance, the sales of online channels account for a small proportion, and the sales of offline channels account for the vast majority. And ordinary users have become accustomed to buying door locks to go to the building materials market instead of going to the home appliance store. These traditional lock brands have established online stores all over the country, and they are generally in the largest building materials market in each city.

Secondly, consumers have psychological inertia to each brand in the field of daily necessities. For example, consumers will recognize Haier's refrigerators and washing machines, but they will not recognize Haier's soymilk machines. In the same way, ordinary users will recognize Haier and Midea's home appliances, but not necessarily Haier and Midea's door locks. Every brand entering a new market will face the problem of rebuilding its brand image, even the leading brands have to face this problem. Brands such as Sakura, Yajie, and Huitailong clearly have advantages in this regard.

In addition, these traditional lock brands have established good cooperative relations between agents and distributors in various places and local home improvement companies and housing development companies. Door locks are often packaged with hardware products and provided to home improvement companies and housing development companies. These are all new players do not have.

However, Li Yu also said that this hot market is still in its infancy, and new players are welcome to make the cake bigger, and the scale of this market is large enough to accommodate players from all walks of life.


The fast-growing market tests the internal strength of enterprises

As Li Yu said, in China, the smart door lock market is still in its infancy. The data shows that the penetration rate of smart door locks in European and American countries is above 50%, and the penetration rate in Japan and South Korea is as high as 70%-80%. At present, the consensus in the industry is that the domestic penetration rate is 2%-3%, not more than 5%, and the market development space is evident.

Like all the sudden and rapid growth of the blue ocean market, there have also been many chaos in smart door locks. According to Zhu Haitao, Marketing Director of Cherry Blossoms, the current smart door lock market is mixed, and the three factors of quality, price, and after-sales service will determine the standardization of the entire market. When the volume of shipments is getting larger and larger, how to ensure the stability of quality and the speed of after-sales maintenance will test every brand player.

Taking after-sales maintenance as an example, even if the failure rate of the product remains unchanged, when the shipment volume increases tenfold or even dozens of times, the number of faulty products will also increase by the same multiple. It is necessary to ensure the timeliness of maintenance. It is not an easy task for a manufacturer. Door locks are very special products. Users have very high requirements for maintenance services. Manufacturers need to provide 24-hour maintenance services. Management capabilities and operating costs are both tests.

Brands that cannot provide good after-sales service will gradually lose their market reputation and brand influence. This is a problem that all smart home hardware product companies must face. If they cannot cultivate strong internal skills, they can only be eliminated by the industry reshuffle.

According to Zhu Haitao, Sakura is exploring the store model of smart door locks, and plans to establish more than 100 smart door lock stores across the country this year, hoping to establish the brand reputation of Sakura in smart door locks with the terminal image of the store, and transform Sakura from a single store. The industry brand is built into a consumer brand.


Whether the sudden emergence of the smart door lock market marks that the entire smart home industry will gradually usher in prosperity remains to be seen. But at least it shows that consumers are willing to pay for upgraded home products with better experience and more convenient functions.

Although door locks with networking capabilities currently account for less than 10% of the entire smart door lock market, or even lower, in the long run, smart door locks, as part of the smart home system, are integrated into the entire home smart system. trend and necessity.